Judging High School Diving
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Judging High School Diving Best Practices - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Judging High School Diving Best Practices. Judging Philosophy. Be Prepared. Are you prepared to judge this contest? Are you well rested? Do you know the NFHS rules? Are you familiar with the dives likely to be performed in this contest?

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Be prepared
Be Prepared

Are you prepared to judge this contest?

Are you well rested?

Do you know the NFHS rules?

Are you familiar with the dives likely to be performed in this contest?

Have you witnessed enough diving of this caliber to properly carry out your responsibilities as a judge?

Judge what you see
Judge What You See

A diver who is highly ranked in the State is not always going to do a great dive.

A diver who starts the contest out poorly can get better as the contest continues.

A diver who starts the contest out exceptionally can perform a poor dive later.

Judge what you see, not what you expect to see.

Be independent
Be Independent

Score the dive based on what you feel it is worth, don’t worry about what others think.

Trust your own judgment no matter what the other judges score. A judge who gives up his independence is no longer a judge.

“I am the only one who is right” is not a bad philosophy as long as your realize you can make mistakes too.

Ignore outside influences
Ignore Outside Influences

Do not allow outside influences to affect your scoring.

Remember you posses the knowledge, not the crowd.

Crowd favorites are not always the best dives in a competition.

Never pre judge
Never Pre-judge

Don’t help the favorites, its not fair and they don’t need it.

A bad dive is a bad dive no matter who does it. A good dive is also a good dive.

Unknowns are just as capable of scoring a 10 as the favorite.

Remember the scale goes from 0 to 10, for all divers in the competition.

Overcome bias
Overcome Bias

Biased judging is an offence against the concept of sportsmanship and fair competition.

In spite of this, some judges believe that they are entitled to give known divers a half point extra on each of their dives.

It is considered an unethical practice in the sport of diving.

Treat every round equally
Treat Every Round Equally

Do not start out cautiously in early rounds.

Do not overly award dives in the final rounds.

Judge each round as if it were the only round.

Dives performed in the early rounds are just as capable of scoring a 10 as dives in later rounds.

Don’t “hold back” in case a better dive comes along, it might not.

Treat each dive equally
Treat Each Dive Equally

Don’t reward difficult dives simply because they are difficult.

Don’t penalize a dive simply because it is easy.

A back 1 somersault is capable of scoring 10s

A back 2 ½ somersault is capable of scoring 1s

Judge the complete dive
Judge The Complete Dive

Remember the dive starts with the starting position and not the entry.

Judge the starting position, approach, takeoff, flight, and entry

A great dive in the air that has a fair amount of splash can still score a 6 or better.

A terrible dive in the air that “rips” the entry may still be worth only a 4 or less.

A dive that starts with a “crow hop” can still receive 8s as well.

Use the full range of scores
Use The Full Range Of Scores

The scale goes from 0 to 10

If you feel a dive is failed, give it a 0

Don’t let yourself get stuck between 4 and 6

At the State Meet, the difference between the best dives and the worst dives will not be 2 points per judge.

You rarely upset the diver, coach, or crowd by making a mistake of scoring to high.

Judging philosophy1
Judging Philosophy

  • Your overall impression of the dive should be your first indicator.

    • Wow! That was great!

      • Excellent or Exceptional Grouping

    • That was nice!

      • Good Grouping

    • Hmm,Ok.

      • Satisfactory Grouping

    • Umm, what was that?

      • Deficient Grouping

    • Uh Oh! (Judge flinches)

      • Unsatisfactory Grouping


Nfhs scoring scale
NFHS Scoring Scale

What is the difference between Excellent and Exceptional?

Failed 0

Unsatisfactory ½ to 2

Deficient 2 ½ to 4

Satisfactory 4 ½ to 5 ½

Good 6 - 7

Excellent 7 ½ to 8 ½

Exceptional 9 - 10


Do not be concerned who is winning or losing
Do not be Concerned Who is Winning or Losing

It is the judges responsibility to judge each dive as it is performed, without consideration of the final standings.

The judge should not try to calculate the running score or current standing.

There is no need to observe the score board when it displays the standings of current score totals.

Elements of a dive there are six elements of a dive to consider when judging
Elements of a DiveThere are six elements of a dive to consider when judging:

1. Approach

2. Takeoff

3. Flight – Stage 1

4. Flight – Stage 2

5. Line Up

6. Entry into the water


The approach the purpose
The Approach – The Purpose

To get to the end of the board !

To display controlled balance.

To set the direction of take-off.


The hurdle step the purpose
The Hurdle Step – The Purpose

To get to the end of the board!

Question: What do you do if the diver does not get to the end of the board?

Hurdle & Takeoff


The take off the purpose
The Take-Off – The Purpose

To gain maximum height.

To set the dive in motion.

Hurdle & Takeoff


The flight stage 1 the purpose
The Flight Stage 1 – The Purpose

To start the execution of the dive.

In an upward direction (including the stationary point or crest).


The flight stage 2 the purpose
The Flight Stage 2 – The Purpose

To complete the execution of the flight.

To initiate the start of the line-up.


The line up the purpose
The Line-Up – The Purpose

For the body to be in a straight & vertical position.

With the arms in or moving to the appropriate position.


The entry the purpose
The Entry – The Purpose

Arms in the specified position.

Body stretched, vertical, unbroken until fully immersed.

Entry completed.


The six building blocks

The Six Building Blocks

Now the dive is announced and the diver is ready. You are ready to judge the dive.

Let us SEE how you look at the dive using the six building blocks!


Seeing the approach
SEEING - The Approach


Did the diver get to the end of the board with both feet symmetrical?

Did both feet / toes remain on the board?

Any shuffle?


Seeing the takeoff
SEEING - The Takeoff

Leaning forward ?

Forward / Inward / Back

Leaning back ?

Forward / Inward / Back

Just right ?

Arms reaching to set ?

Good height (power) ?

On-balance & fluid ?


Seeing the flight stage 1
SEEING - The Flight Stage 1

Too far out ?

Too close ?

Just right ?

Specified body position ?

Power & grace ?

In line with board ?


Seeing the flight stage 2
SEEING - The Flight Stage 2

Continuing body position - tight & precise.

Any give away at this stage - split; too low, crossed feet, under-rotated, over-rotated.


Seeing the line up
SEEING - The Line-up

Is the body straight?

Is the body vertical? & in a straight line?

Is there a bent hip?

Is there a twist?

Is it short?

Is it long ?


Seeing do you see anything
SEEING: Do You See Anything?








Once again a reminder
Once Again – A Reminder

  • Various divers will use various flight paths

  • But notice that the line of flight is always through each of the dimensions

  • There is enough flexibility within the size of the rooms to accommodate the various flight path styles



A judge must keep each element in mind when viewing a dive, yet in the end, the dive should be judged as a whole, without overemphasising any single area.

This is especially true when it comes to the entry. It is very easy to forgive earlier flaws if a dive enters the water vertically and without a splash.

Although a good entry is very impressive, all parts of the dive are to be judged.


A state association perspective
A State Association Perspective

What Are We Looking For ?


Nfhs common deductions
NFHS Common Deductions

Excessive oscillation - More the 4 oscillations BEFORE

arms move.

Deduction of ½ to 2 points at judges discretion.

Not stopping the oscillation of the board just before or

after the starting position is assumed.

Deduction of ½ to 2 points at judges discretion.


Nfhs defined deductions
NFHS Defined Deductions

Foot/Feet leaving the board on Back/Inward Takeoffs

“Crow Hop”.

Deduction of ½ to 2 points at judges discretion.

Note: this is not a mandatory 2 point deduction.

Deduction is based on how major the violation was.


Nfhs defined deductions1
NFHS Defined Deductions

Spreading knees in tuck position (knees should be

inside the shoulders).

Deduction of ½ to 2 points at judges discretion.

Note: many divers will squeeze into very tight tucks and

their knees will split yet remain inside the shoulders.

This should not be a deduction.


Nfhs defined deductions2
NFHS Defined Deductions

One somersault - require the straight position be maintained from the takeoff until the body has rotated to the horizontal position (1/4 rotation)

One and one half somersault – require the straight position be maintained until the body has rotated to the vertical position (1/2 rotation)

Deduction of ½ to 2 points at judges discretion.


Nfhs defined deductions3
NFHS Defined Deductions

112C Forward Flying Somersault Tuck


Nfhs defined deductions4
NFHS Defined Deductions

413C Inward Flying 1½ Tuck


Nfhs defined deductions5
NFHS Defined Deductions

Entering to the side of the board.

Deduction of ½ to 2 points at judges discretion.

This is often missed at this level. It is rather easy to

see on inwards and reverses where it occurs most



Nfhs defined deductions6
NFHS Defined Deductions

A diver does not attempt to come out of a twist.

Unsatisfactory dive - award ½ to 2 points if declared by

the diving referee.

In a twisting dive, the divers shoulders are twisted

past 90 degrees before the feet leave the board.

Failed dive if declared by the diving referee. If not

declared by the diving referee, diving judges may

deduct ½ to 2 points for twisting manifestly from the



Final thoughts
Final Thoughts

Score RELATIVE to the field

High School divers are capable of

Exceptional (scores from 9 to 10)

Good Judging brings aboutGreat Diving !



FINA - presentation content and educational opportunities

USA Diving – consultation, training, and education of coaches and officials

IHSAA - rules and presentation materials

Starz Diving - consultation and material presenters

NFHS - rules governing the high school diving

It is through cooperation of the various experts in the sport of diving that we become better and provide the best experience for our athletes of all ages and skill levels.